This past Sunday, Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC opened their 2018 season with a 4-1 win over the Richmond Kickers at Goodman Stadium. The match featured seven First Team players in the Starting XI for Bethlehem, including Homegrown product Derrick Jones.
Jones has played a significant role in the club’s vision. The midfielder was signed as a Homegrown Player on July 27, 2016 and was the first player to complete the “Path to the Pros” by competing in a match for the Union Academy, Bethlehem Steel and the Union First Team. This past weekend, Jones put his talent on full display.
In the 40th minute of the match, Jones brought everyone in Bethlehem to their feet. After receiving a pass from just inside the Richmond zone, Jones was off to the races. The midfielder danced through the Richmond defense and weaved through the attacking zone.
Jones ultimately found himself inside the 18 and sent a shot with his right foot that found the back of net. The goal proved to be the game-winner for Bethlehem in their season opener.
The buildup and the finish from Jones was spectacular, but the Homegrown was able to provide more than just scoring on the pitch. Jones’ passing on the afternoon was impressive, as the midfielder distributed possession all over the place.
Jones recorded 77 passes were second best on the team to James Chambers, earning him fourth best in the entire league.
As Jones continues to learn from veterans Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin at the First Team level, it is clear that the Homegrown product is taking advantage of the minutes he’s earning with Bethlehem Steel.